A note from our editors: 

It’s time for one of our favorite traditions! Each year, we spend the holidays reflecting on the stories and articles you loved most. It’s the “Best of Rue” and this is one of 2019’s top stories. Enjoy!

Previously published on April 18, 2019:

It’s not that the home of this young professional couple was in bad shape or looked tragically unattractive, it just felt like a conventional, generically designed space from the early 2000s. The dark wood cabinets, blue carpeting in the upstairs level and contrived brick red wallpaper in the powder-room didn’t exactly gel with the homeowners’ style. They chose this home, in Quail Hill, a family-friendly neighborhood of Irvine, for its natural setting overlooking the city and the hills, as well as its potential. They hired designer Kym Maloney and gave her free reign to transform it into the contemporary space that they dreamed of.

“They were honestly my ‘perfect’ clients!” Kym smiled. “They were so open to all my ideas and gave me full creative control during the design process throughout the interior.” The clients and designer decided to undergo a complete renovation of their home, which included gutting their bathrooms, laundry room and kitchen. “A complete remodel takes a lot of time and when it all comes together beautifully, it is definitely worth the wait and investment,” Kym explained.

The unifying concept behind the design of this home was to create a welcoming, comfortable space for the homeowners to enjoy on their own as well as with friends. Kym wanted the home to reflect the bright and cheerful weather of its Southern Californian location. “We created a clean, crisp vibe in the family room through the use of scale, texture, and balance along with a curated collection of accessories throughout the room,” she said. “And we wanted to create the ultimate retreat in the master bedroom by keeping it simple and calming with beautiful soft hues and cozy textures.”

For the walls and trim, Kym selected Benjamin Moore’s “Chantilly Lace”. “The house felt so bright and crisp once the walls were painted,” she added. The floors are “Driftwood”, a wide plank engineered wood flooring by Palladio to give it a worn-in look. To add texture, Kym decided that the kitchen backsplash would be covered in Zellige, a Moroccan-style tile known for its imperfect beauty. For the master bathroom, she again used tile to make a statement, selecting a patterned cement option. The vanity cabinets were kept but given a new look with Farrow & Ball’s “Worsted” and brass hardware.

During the 5 month-long renovations of this 2500 sq. ft. home, the homeowners decided not to live in the space and made the changes before they moved in. “My clients really loved how it turned out,” Kym shared, “The before and after was amazing and they were so happy.”